Thailand Publishes Rules for Virtual Bank Licenses

Apr 2024

The Bank of Thailand (BoT) recently published rules, procedures, and conditions for the application for and the issuance of a virtual bank license. This will allow applicants with expertise in technology, digital services, and the utilization of diverse types of data to provide financial services with new value propositions via digital channels to better serve the needs of each customer segment, particularly the unserved and underserved segments of retail and SME customers. It is also expected that virtual banks will bring about better customer experience and stimulate healthy competition in the Thai financial institution system without posing risks to financial stability or causing harm to depositors and wider consumers.

To ensure that prospective virtual banks will sustainably operate and bring benefits to the Thai economy and financial system in line with the aforementioned objectives, the BoT will consider the applicant’s qualifications, potential and capabilities to operate a virtual bank in accordance with proposed business plans in a number of areas. These include:

  1. experience, resources and capability in operating a virtual bank business, offering financial services with new value propositions to better serve the needs of each customer segment;
  2. governance and capability of the applicants and persons in key positions of the virtual bank;
  3. expertise, experience and capability in operating a digital-driven business that offers services through digital channels;
  4. capability to use and manage IT systems in an agile, secure, resilient and high-availability manner so as to accommodate the development of financial services in response to changing situations or customers’ needs;
  5. experience and capability to acquire, manage, and utilize diverse types of data, as well as the capability to develop data portability mechanisms to facilitate customers’ use of their own personal data in transacting with other financial service providers in accordance with their legal rights;
  6. capability to manage risks from financial business;
  7. capability of major shareholders to provide financial support to ensure the continuity of the virtual bank’s business operations.

Interested applicants can submit their application for a virtual bank license to the BoT from 20 March 2024 to 19 September 2024 and can find more details on the application process and requirements on the BOT website.

(Source: Bank of Thailand)

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